Trump Wins CPAC Straw Poll, DeSantis Runner-Up

Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla., February 28, 2021. (Joe Skipper/Reuters)

Former president Trump won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll on Sunday, with 55 percent of respondents saying they would vote for Trump in the 2024 presidential primary.

The poll is conducted annually at CPAC by secret ballot. Florida governor Ron DeSantis received 21 percent in the same survey, while no other candidate broke roughly five percent.

Attendees of CPAC also approved of Trump’s performance as president by 97 percent but only 68 percent said they wanted him to run again.

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However, in a poll of potential 2024 candidates without Trump, DeSantis received 43 percent of the vote while South Dakota governor Kristi Noem drew 11 percent. Both governors are staunch Trump allies who have touted their states’ refusal to extend full lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic.

The straw poll itself has historically been a poor indicator of future presidential prospects. Utah senator Mitt Romney won the straw poll four times, in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012, while Kentucky senator Rand Paul won the poll in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

CPAC attendees in 2021 indicated that “election integrity” was the most important political issue for them, along with “Constitutional rights” and immigration. Foreign policy and pro-life concerns were ranked among the lowest concerns for attendees.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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